CLARK, NJ-  The Johnson Crusaders varsity baseball team picked up where they left off after Wednesday's close win against Jonathan Dayton on the road, coming out strong in their home opener and defeating the Linden Tigers Thursday afternoon in Clark. Johnson won by a score of 14-4.

Linden scored their first run of the game on a throwing error, but Johnson would provide a strong response, scoring seven runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Senior Jason Brougham tied the game with an RBI single, and senior Dan O’Donnell gave Johnson the lead by driving in two runs with a double to make it 3-1 Crusaders.

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Trevor McSorley made it 4-1 with an RBI groundout, and they simply never looked back. The Crusaders added three more runs before the inning was over, leading 7-1.

 “We started off great and we’re getting better every day,” Brougham said. “I think that we can be a true competitor in the finals and semifinals, and everything that is big this year.”

The Crusaders added five more runs in the bottom of the second inning, including a two-run single from senior Steven Weisensee. They led by a score of 12-1 after that inning was over.

The players feel good about their strong start to the spring season.

“We hit very well, there weren’t many errors in the field, and it’s a great start. [A record of] 2-0 is great,” O’Donnell said.

Juniors Wes Giannobile and Tom Mace each recorded an RBI single to build the lead to 14-1 through the bottom of the third inning.

Johnson head coach David Kennedy has always said his main objective is for the team to get better game by game.  The boys have shown that with their performance at the plate.

“We responded to a first inning run. I felt that we set the tone in this game, and we were able to kind of stretch things out a bit in a shortened game,” Kennedy said. “We put pressure on them every inning. There were some nice things out there. I thought we got a little better today.”

Johnson junior Anthony Furci was the starting pitcher, recording five strikeouts through 4-1/3 innings of work.  

For Linden, Dan Martins recorded an RBI double, while senior Eddie Guzman contributed with an RBI single of his own in the loss.

Because the Crusaders ten-run lead the game ended after the top of the fifth inning.

Next up, the Johnson Crusaders (2-0) play  Piscataway High School at home Saturday morning at 11 a.m., while the Linden Tigers (1-1) play against the Dickinson Rams Saturday morning on the road at 11 a.m.